Friday, August 7, 2015

International Summer Travel: Enjoying Kuala Lumpur in 24 Hours!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Taken Inside the Petronas Twin Towers Ground 

Malaysia's national capital, Kuala Lumpur (KL), is a bustling metropolis and a multicultural haven; a place worthy to be a part of our 9 - Day Cotton Summer Travel itinerary even if it means being there only for less than 24 - hours! Here's how we made the most of our stay in KL, checking off bucket list without breaking our wallet!  

Meridian Holidays Bus at Johor Bahru Larkin Terminal
April 20, 2015 (Monday). Traveling to KL from Johor Bahru by bus takes at least four (4) hours, with one washroom and meal break provided. The standard fare is only MYR 35 (Php 413) per passenger if you buy it at the couches ticketing office. Anything higher is a rip off, by those seemingly helpful bus conductors who would usher passenger to their buses and hand a bus ticket with a super imposed amount of MYR 51(Php 602). I know this because we got fooled by them lol.

TBS - A First Class Airport Style Bus Terminal
All buses from Johor Bahru to KL terminate at the newly - built Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) or the Malay Language for Southbound Integrated Terminal. Located in Bandar Tasik Selatan, TBS was opened only in January 2011 (so it was not the same terminal we used during my visit to KL with my friends in 2007). It has a direct connection to LRT, KLIA Transit, and Komuter Train for those going to KL Sentral. For buses and taxi stations, just follow the signs where to catch your ride. For taxis, there's an option  for either a Budget Taxi or an Executive Taxi. We took a Budget Taxi which cost us MYR 25 (P297) to reach i-Hotel in Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur.

Deluxe Room with Queen size Kingkoil bed mattress, 32 inch TV, AC,
two bottled water, Ensuite Bathroom with Hot water, Hair Dryer, & Towels
Checking in at I - Hotel in KL (No. 143 Jalan Maharajalela 50150 Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan) was a last minute decision when we arrived at TBS, since hubby was shy about staying at my friend's condo that I have pre-arranged long before our trip. Good thing, I got an an address card from I-Hotel in Johor Bahru with a 10% off promotion for its other branches. We would have wanted an Executive Suite for MYR 163 (P 1,936) per night, because it was fitted with a 5-star king size Kingkoil bed mattress, but it was already occupied. We settled for a Deluxe Room for MYR 98 (P1,163) and paid only P1,047 because of the 10% discount.

Though, none of the hotel's description on its website is true (lol), we like it nonetheless because it is staffed with friendly and helpful Filipinos that made us feel safe. Also, the hotel is a walking distance (though a bit far for me!) to and from the Maharajalela Monorail station and located at a quieter place than other budget hotels. 

At Golden Screen Cinema to watch KingsMan: Secret Service
Before calling it a night, we took a trip to the Berjaya Times Square which is only one station away from Maharajalela Monorail Station which cost us MYR 1.20 (P14.30) each, one way, to exchange our dollars, have dinner and watched "Kingsman: Secret Service" at the Golden Screen Cinema (which is one of our couple's bucketlist)!

April 21, 2015 (Tuesday). The Hop - On- Hop - Off Bus Tour maybe the way to go to see more sights in KL at a limited time, except that it cost MYR 45 (P535) each, and we are watching our budget. Instead, we utilized KL'efficient LRT system, which has three lines - Kelana Jaya Rail Line, Ampang Rail Line and the Monorail. These three lines run independently of each other, but they have points where there are interchanges. 

Since our hotel is a stones throw away from the MyRapidKL Monorail, we are in luck! The Monorail runs between KL Sentral station and Titiwangsa station, and Maharajalela Station is the third station from KL Sentral. (Please Click the link for the routes details).Operating hours is from 6am until 11:30pm (from KL to Titiwangsa) and 11:50pm (from Titiwangsa to KL Sentral) with train frequency between 3 minutes to 5 minutes during day time. We bought Single Journey Token from Maharajalela to KL Sentral for only MYR 1.60 (P19). (For faretable, please click here).

KL SENTRAL, the largest development in Kuala Lumpur today that follows the City-within-a-City concept, was our first stop to grab a bite and to take the LRT to our next stop. The Monorail Station is directly linked to the NU Sentral Mall by an overhead walkway bridge. We had lunch at the Mall's Food Court at the 3rd Floor which has lots of restaurants and serves variety of food. Our lunch is yummy but not pricey, and dessert taste really good!!!

From KL Sentral we took the Kelana Jaya Rail Line train to KLCC Station, which cost MYR 1.60 (P19) each way, for about 15 minutes journey. The KLCC station has access to the KLCC Shopping Mall and to the Petronas Twin Towers. 

Another Bucket List Checked Off. 
Selfies at the Worl'ds Tallest Twin Towers!
PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS. A visit to this KL's iconic skyscraper tops our list of places to visit in KL so we could check off another item in our bucket list - take selfies at the world's tallest buildings! Built in 1998, the Petronas Towers is truly an architectural wonder and for a time, was the world's tallest building until it was surpassed by Taipei 101 in 2004. Nonetheless, the Petronas Twin Towers is currently the tallest twin tower buildings in the world!!

Being my second trip to Petronas Towers, I led Red outside of Suria KLCC to view the towers and take photos. There used to be a lovely small park with fountain in its base when I was there in 2007, but the fountain was no longer functioning during our visit. But the views of the 88-story gleaming towers that reach 452 meters into the air, was still amazing! We took lots of lots of selfie photos, a trick photography at best! 

Inside, we intended to line up to get free tickets to go up the Skybridge at the 41st/42nd floor. The Skybridge connects the two (2) towers together, and is considered the world's highest double - decked bridge, where you can see KL's attractions and the spire of the Petronas Twin Towers at 360 meters high. But with a long queue and the cost of the ticket now priced at MYR 84.50 (P1,008), hubby decided we should not do it. Instead, we enjoyed the miniature displays and took more photos at the huge KL's Attraction Map near the ticketing counter.

From KLCC Stationwe took the Kelana Jaya Rail Line back to KL Sentral and got off at Masjid Jamek station, which cost MYR 1.60 (P19) each.  The Masjid Jamek station has access to Little IndiaChinatown and the Merdeka Square.

There's quite a walk from Masjid Jamek Station to DATARAN MERDEKA or Independence Square, but this is the heart of Malaysia both historically and literally so you shouldn't miss this place for anything! 

This is the place where the independence of Malaysia in August 31, 1957 was declared. The 100-meter high flagpole marks the spot where the British rule has ended and is currently the record-holder for being the tallest flagpole in the world! 

Exactly opposite the Merdeka Square is the Sultan Abdul Ahmad Building, the Moorish architectural building with copper domes and clock tower. This building used to house the superior courts of Malaysia  - the federal court, Court of Appeals and its Supreme Court. Now the building is home to the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture. 

While still in Merdeka Square, we walked towards the KL City Gallery and posed at the giant "I LOVE KL" structure which was built in January 2012 and has served as KL's new icon since then. 

And to wrap up our visit of KL, we headed out to Central Market to buy some souvenirs and to feed our already hungry tummy before we move to our next adventure in Melaka. But one thing I know, there's so much to enjoy in KL, and while there enjoy every bit of the experience like we did! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

International Summer:10 Things To Remember When Swinging Around in the City of Malacca, Malaysia

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

The City of Malacca is a popular swing around destination among tourists for a lot of reasons - it is charming, historic, accessible, inexpensive, compact, mixed of the old and new, diverse culture, and in July 2008, a UNESCO World Heritage City. So between our Kuala Lumpur leg of our international summer trip and our supposed arrival in  Singaporewe decided to visit Bandaraya Melaka in Malay language or simply Melaka

With only less than 24 hours to spare last April 21 - 22, 2015, here's how we were able to squeeze our time and make the most of our visit.

1. Travel At Night To Melaka (9PM - 11PM). Being only 2 hours away by bus from KL, we opted to travel at night and have the whole day for our sightseeing. We took the 9PM trip aboard the super  comfy  KKKL bus for MYR 13 each (P157) and arrived at the Melaka Sentral Bus Terminal before midnight. Since we didn't have any hotel booking, we followed the cab driver's suggestion on where to stay at the city centre where most of the attractions are situated. Taxis don't have meter so be sure to negotiate the fare. Our taxi driver charged us MYR 35 (P423) but later on we learned that it was a rip - off since usually it is MYR 20 during daytime and MYR 25  (P302) at night. 

2. Choose a Hotel at the City Centre (11PM - 9AM). We stayed at Venus Boutique Hotel  for MYR 116 a night (P1,405). It has everything we want for a comfy stay in an unfamiliar place - a window room with a queen size bed, nice bathroom with toiletries and towels, TV with cable channels, free internet and the hotel is serviced by an elevator! Also, the hotel staff are really friendly and helpful and let us leave our luggage at the concierge so we can tour around. But the biggest plus of Venus Hotel is its location as it enjoys close proximity to the Pahlawan Walk Market, restaurants, hawker centre, malls, cinemas, and the Melaka Heritage sites, perfect for our limited time adventure!

3. Eat Malaysian Cuisine at the Mall (9AM - 10AM). Since our hotel does not serve breakfast, it was comforting to find that there are so many restaurants and a hawker centre within 5 - minute walk, serving traditional Malayan dishes. However, the food looks all the same, and we were not sure if it's clean. Good thing the Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Mega Mall  food court is just around the corner. It is indoor and air conditioned, perfect because it is so hot outside. I like the food court concept in Melaka (or Malaysia in general) as it is slightly different in the Philippines since there are a number of individual stalls selling different kinds of food items, but there's just one designated shop that sells the drinks. 

4. Be Sure To Have A Melaka Historical Street Map. With a very limited time from 10AM to 7PM at most in Melaka, amidst the scorching heat, we were very glad that I grabbed a map at the hotel! It came in handy as we planned our self-guided walking tour. There are also street map like this so just take a picture. It will save you one heck of a time!.

5. Coronation Park (10AM - 11: 00AM).The Coronation Park was created in 1956 after the proclamation of Malaysia's Independence. Because of the huge trees and beautiful local flowers planted all around, this recreational garden is a refuge from the heat as soon as we got out of Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall's food court! But that was not the only reason we chose this park as our first stop.  The park now hosts an old train which doubles as a museum for our first taste of Melaka's old charm, a number of aircrafts, children's playground, and a huge red heart (for photo ops) on the other side of the park towards Pahlawan Walk Market

6.Taming Sari Tower (11: 00AM - 12:00NN) or the Menara Taming Sari in Bahasa is another great option to see Melaka while avoiding the direct heat of the sun at noon time! Located towards the other side of the Pahlawan Walk. It is a 360 - degree viewing tower that can seat 66 passengers. From a height of 80 meters, we were able to have a breathtaking and panoramic view of this Heritage City  for seven (7) minutes and sampled interesting sites like the Flor De la Mar, Melaka River, St. Paul's Hill, and other developments.

Record: The Menara Taming Sari is the first revolving "gyro tower" in Malaysia.
Cost: MYR 20 (P242) each. This comes with a free snack - a drink and local biscuits! (another reason why it's good to take this ride at lunchtime)
Operation Hour: 10AM - 10PM  - Daily

Red posing by the Flor De La Mar 
7.Maritime Museum (12:00NN - 2:00PM). The museum itself was a replica of a Portuguese galleon called "Flor De La Mar" or "Flower of the Sea" that sunk in shipwreck off the coast of Sumatra in the 16th century. It was built only in 1994, with a height of 34 meters, a length of 36 meters and a width of 8 meters. Since we entered the museum at 12nn, we stayed long inside where we learned so much about the maritime history of Malacca and its golden era through thexhibits, artifacts and documents on display. 

Cost: MYR 5 each (P60). This allows you access to the Flor Del Mar exhibits area, upper deck of the ship to see the captains diorama, as well as the exhibits in the phase 2 of the museum. There's not much on the other side, except for the chair massager (MYR 1 or P13) for 3 minutes, a relief for your aching feet!
Operation Hour: 9AM to 5PM - on weekdays and 9AM to 8:30PM on weekends

8. Melaka River Cruise (2:00PM - 3:00PM). When the heat of the sun just starting to subside, and after seeing Malacca up high (Taming Sari ride) and down below (Flor Del Mar lower deck exhibits), then it was time for another adventure - the Melaka River Cruise. We bought ticket (MYR 15 each or P 181) at the Muara Jetty which is just a stone's throw away from the Maritime Museum and next to the Quayside Heritage Centre. On board a small boat, the cruise sails upstream from Maura Jetty until Taman Rempah Jetty and then back for about 45 - minutes.  It was an interesting and relaxing ride (my feet was able to relax), seeing the historic buildings, warehouses, mangroves, churches and villages along side of the river.  

(This was where a portion of Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones movie "Entrapment" was shot, which became controversial because the river with slums was shown next to the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur.) 

9. Self Guided Walking Tour (3:00PM - 5:00PM). Now on to the real Melaka Historical Site self -guided walking tour. It's cooler at this time, and your feet have been massaged and somewhat rested so you are ready for the two hour walk. If you still need further help, you can visit the Melaka Tourist Information Center in Jalan Kota near the Tam Kim Seng Bridge.

First Stop: Bastion Middleburg
After getting off the Maura Jetty, the  Dutch control tower called Bastion Middleburg will just be around the corner. The bastion was built in 1660 to fortify the surrounding area of the Melaka river which was busy with trading and shipping in those times, against enemies attacks. 

Second Stop: Stadthuys (Not the souvenir shop lol)
Red Square or Dutch Square is the oldest surviving part of Malacca city dominated by bright red terracotta buildings completed between 1660 to 1700. 

Stadthuys (the building on the right side when you are looking at the picture) is the oldest building in the Square, which served as the official residence of Dutch governors and was used as a town hall during the British Administration. Now, it houses a museum (which unfortunately was already closing when we got there because we got lured by the souvenir shops and hawker stall near the entrance.) Be sure to go there a bit early as I've read that the Stadthuys is very beautiful inside and is well maintained. 

In the middle of the Square is a Victorian water fountain built only in 1906 to commemorate the Jubilee year of Queen Victoria. Beside it is Tang Bee Swee Clocktower, which is a rather misplaced addition to this all-Dutch Square as it was built in 1886 in honor of Tang Bee Swee, a rich Chinese merchant not a Dutch.

See the souvenir shops? culprit for missing the Stadthuys
Facing the fountain is Christ Church built in 1753 as a replacement of an earlier Portuguese church and to commemorate the centenary of Dutch occupation in Malacca. 

Aerial View of Melaka from Taming Sari Tower
10. Shopping for Souvenir in Jonker Street and the Malls (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM). We spent the last two hours in Melaka just walking to have a feel of the rest of what the city has to offer other than the historic buildings. Towards the evening, we headed to Jonker Street, the center street of Chinatown, to buy some cheap keepsakes. But because it was a Wednesday, we missed the best part of Jonker Street which is the night market on Friday and Saturday nights. We went to Makhota Parade and Dataran Pahlawan shopping malls instead and were lucky to buy branded, quality clothing for cheap since there was a store wide sale during our visit!
(7:00 PM - 11:00 PM).Took the KKKL bus bound for Singapore at the Melaka Sentral Terminal and arrived in Singapore at 11PM!

Monday, April 27, 2015

International Summer Travel Saving Tips: Go For Boutique Hotels in Singapore, Johor Bahru and Melaka (Malaysia)

Our meager Escape Fund dictates how much we could spend for our international summer travel. But for accommodations alone, our getaway fund can be used up alarmingly fast since our preference for a King - size bed, a romantic feel, a luxurious bed linen, and a full length mirror, usually all come with a price. Our recent 8-day travel tSingapore and the Malaysian cities of Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka from April 18-26, 2015 proves, however, that luxury doesn't have to be expensive if you go to these three (3) boutique hotels - Dorsett Singapore, Hermess Hotel in Johor, Bahru and Venus Boutique Hotel in Melaka, Malaysia. Surely, these boutique hotels treated us to a very affordable luxury, and maybe you too can score a great deal next time you find yourself in these cities:

(1) DORSETT Singapore is a brand new ten-storey 4-star hotel located at 333 New Bridge Road, Singapore.

As the world's most expensive city, most mid - range accommodations in Singapore costing SGD 150 - 200  (P5000 - P6,500), is fitted only with queen mattress. So, a room with King - size bed would be very expensive, right? Not if you are lucky like us to have availed of the SG50 Staycation promo (from March 30, 2015 - December 31, 2015) at Dorsett Singapore, Where Heritage Meets Modernity! 

Boutique Touches: Modern, full glass architecture facade following the Dorsett International unique brand concept of modernity, innovation and comfort. All 285 guestrooms feature a colorful camera (functioning as door intercom speaker) and Singapore art work, worth snapping a selfie even before you get in. 

Lucky Room Deal (per night): We stayed at a Dorsett Room for only SGD140 (P4,500) instead of the regular rate of SGD400 (P12,800). It is a 22 square meter - room with a lovely view of Chinatown, and comes with a King - size Bed topped with posturepedic mattress for a healthy relaxing good night rest. In addition to our personal standard of white linen and full length mirror, our cosy haven is also equipped with contemporary furnishings and modern amenities, including a 40" LED Television with International and Cable TV channels, free WIFI (hotel wide), work station area (with pen, pencil, post card, & note pads) electronic in-room safe, attached bathroom with rain shower, mini bar, individually controlled air-conditioning, and complimentary coffee/tea making facilities. 

Daily newspaper, bottled water, white towels, white bathrobes and complete set of toiletries (shampoo with conditioner, lotion, bath gel, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, nail file, shower caps, sanitary bag and shaving kit) are provided free of charge. There is also an iron and iron board for your wrinkled clothes!

More "Lucky" Savings Tip: The checked - in time as in most hotels in Singapore (or anywhere for that matter) is 2pm. But we decided to show up early at around 12 noon, gave our booking reference to the front desk staff and she very happily told us that the room is ready, even without requesting for an early checked - in. 

More Summer Travel Reasons Why We Heart Dorsett: (1) Not only Dorsett is located at the edge of Chinatown, one of Singapore's main attraction, this hotel also sits right on top of Outram Park MRT interchange station. In fact, there is an MRT Exit designated for Dorsett hotel guests for easy accessibility to and from the Changi Airport (only two transfers), commercial districts, and Singapore tourists attractions. It is one MRT stop to Harbour Front (gateway to Sentosa), two  MRT stops to Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios, and one MRT stop to Central Business District, for our Marina Bay Sands Forever Living events! 

(2) To fight the Summer heat, Dorsett sport a 30-meter outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi in a landscaped roof garden (and Koi pond) to unwind and relax after enjoying the sights or to take in the early morning sun by laying in the sun beds before heading out for a stroll!! 

(2) HERMESS Hotel is a brand new budget hotel with a boutique ambiance located in the central part of Iskandar, Nusa Bestari, Skudai, Johor in Malaysia. Opened in July 2013, Hermess Hotel takes pride in being a hotel "With So Much Goodness At A Friendly Price".

Boutique Touches: True to its boutique style, this hotel features a huge quirky chandelier lighting up the stairway and rooms with unique and distinctive classic contemporary design. The monochromatic black and white furnishings - white desk chair, white bed linen with a black headboard, a pair of black side tables, and black rimmed full length mirror, combined with wooden and glass furnishings perfectly create a modern vibe

Lucky Room Deal (per night): Our Superior King room cost us only RMB 129 (P1,600) [RMB 99 (P1,228) a night for members]. It is fully air-conditioned and comes with our must - have King - size bed, white mattress, white linen and full length mirror. The room also has a 40" LED Television with international cable channels, wireless internet thoughout the hotel compound, glass finished bathroom with rain shower, and complimentary toiletries (bath and towel, floor mats, hair and body shampoo, hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpastesanitary bag and shaving kit).

More "Lucky" Savings Tip: The hotel offers member card registration for RMB 30 (P372) and a sign up member enjoys 30% discount on hotel rates and additional 10% discount on weekend and holidays. But since I didn't know this upon checked - in, I expressed my interest in getting a member card registration if the discount could be applied  to our 2-day stay. Policy dictates that she had to decline my offer which could have saved us RMB 60 (P744). Instead, the manager gave us a lifetime membership card (which can be used by any holder) free of charge! Not bad as it saves us RMB 30. But for you, be sure to buy the card first before checking in if you are staying for at least two (2) days!

More Summer Travel Reasons Why We Heart Hermess:  This hotel is strategically located, being in the middle of the Johor Bahru Immigration Center (where all tourists have to use as an entry point from Singapore or  Malaysia), and the popular tourist spots in Johor Bahru like Legoland, Hello Kitty, etc. It is only 15 minutes cab ride to Legoland where we had our summer splash at its Water Park!

Fine Tips: The glass window has been plastered with sticker so we can't see the outside from our room, and there is no lift which was ok as we were in the second floor. So don't take rooms in the 3rd floor or upward!

(3) VENUS Boutique Hotel is located in No. 18, Jalan PM-6 Plaza, Makota in Melaka, Malaysia. It is the best hotel we stayed at as a result of a "spur of the moment" decision and we loved it! We arrived in this UNESCO heritage city of Melaka at midnight without any hotel bookings, just a name of a hotel we saw on the internet while we were in Kuala Lumpur. It turns out that this hotel is very far from the city center according to the taxi driver. So, we asked him to bring us to a good but cheap hotel, and he brought us to Venus Boutique Hotel, which exudes Comfort, Elegance, and Luxury. The hotel has a lift to start with!

Boutique Touches: Venus is a contemporary, sleek, urban hotel, with overall white feel combined with a splash of lavender and black, modern design and European art deco. Our room has a bed headboard of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France so that's romantic in itself! 

Lucky Room Deal (per night): We stayed at a Standard Room for RMB 116 (P1,438) which has everything we want except for a King-size bed (as all Venus rooms feature only a Queen - size bed even if we opted for the Deluxe Standard Room for RMB 146). But the white bed linen, romantic elegance and luxurious ambiance with complimentary amenities like air - conditioner,  32' inches LCD TV with ASTRO channel, coffee and tea making facility, private hot and cold shower, digital room status, internet, and toiletries (bath and towel, hair dryer, shampoo with conditioner, body bath, and hand soap) at such a cheap price, are enough reasons to say that we have snagged the best deal at this boutique hotel! 

More Summer Travel Reasons Why We Heart Venus: The location is perfect for everything as the tourist attractions, mall and restaurants are just stones throw away! The hotel enjoys close proximity to the Golden Screen Cinema, Pahlawan Walk, Taming Sari Tower, Royal Malaysia Navy Museum, and Melaka River Cruise among other fun attractions.

More "Lucky" Savings Tip: No matter how colorful or somewhat romantic, the rickshaw ride is quite expensive for RMB 40 (P495) an hour tour. The better alternative is to rent a a motorcycle at the Taming Sari Tower counter for RMB 50 for a half - day tour if you happened to have international driving license with you and your passport! My hubby Red didn't have an international driving license so we just went around on foot which is fine because Melaka is so compact and all attractions are just walking distance!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sierra Vista Hotel Resort - Best Matrimonial Accommodation in San Fabian, Pangasinan

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Sunny days are here and found ourselves in the coastal town of San Fabian, Pangasinan after a days work, so a dip into the beach is in order! All we need to do is choose a private matrimonial accommodation and we are good to go. But after checking several hotel resorts listed in the San Fabian website located in Nibaliw West Beach, Mabilao Beach and Bolasi Beach, there is just one place that fits a couple like us who want to combine business and honeymoon ...err pleasure.

Taken last March 31, 2015
Where To Stay: Located in Nibaliw West Vidal, San Fabian, Pangasinan (only about three (3) minutes away from the San Fabian Municipal Hall where I have to visit first thing the next day)the Sierra Vista Beach Resort marries man-made modern amenities and the beach for the quick cool down after working. Unlike the other places which has either the beach or the pool open till about 10pm, Sierra Vista Beach Resort has a nice beachfront overlooking the endless South China Sea and outdoor swimming pools, one for kids and another for adults, which are opened for 24 hours. This is perfect for us, since we have very limited stay. 

The serene garden facility also housed several hexagonal room cottages with a thatched roof made of anahaw to create a modern version of our nipa huts. Depending on number of people and budget, you can choose room accommodations from a dormitory to twin beds or family suite. There is a restaurant,conference room, and an enclosed parking space.

Taken on March 19, 2015
Room To BookSierra Vista Beach Resortunlike the other accommodations which only cater to groups or families, offers an air-conditioned Matrimony Room cottage for couples. The room is equipped with a queen sized - bed, with white mattress and a white blanket, covered with pink and blue sheet for accent. For a more romantic feel, the white rattan furnitures like bed headboard, tv rack, and chairs have floral pink designs identical with the curtains that covers the glass walls.  A decent - sized LCD Plasma TV with cable channels, mirror, two lamp shades, two chairs and a built - in cabinet complete the couple sweet nook!

The bathroom is quite simple but it is spacious and  has a hot and cold shower (which seems to be a luxury as the nearby resorts do not have one). Towels for two, a pail and dipper, tissue papers and soaps are included free of charge.

Price: The Matrimony Room with all the inclusions above is P2,200 a night, even much cheaper than the Twin Bed accommodation for P2,500 also for two persons who are not a couple! Initially I thought the price was a bit high after paying only P1,800 at Star Monica Hotel, Resorts and Restaurant in Lingayen (without the beach). But after checking San Fabian PTA Hotel, Nibaleo, Shaira, Charissa, Lazy A, etc., the price is very reasonable. 

What To Do: If you get there early enough (since you can check in at Sierra Vista as early as 2pm), go head to the beach for swimming. The water will be cool at this time (haven't tried yet though), then wait for the romantic sunset before you head back to your room. But if you are like us who gets there a bit dark and tired, just walk or jog in the fine sand, or simply feel the cool breeze in the beach while taking selfie or coupie photos with your honey. 

After resting, cool down at the outdoor pool which to reiterate is open for 24 hours, and near the room cottages. You should be in your proper swimming attire to be able to use the pool and you can shower either in your room cottage or at the nearby shower room.

Insider Tip: Be sure to order your dinner before the restaurant closes at 8pm, and ask for room service. Food is cheap but delicious. 

We have stayed at Sierra Vista Hotel Resort twice this March 2015 and counting... until we are done with the business in the area.

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